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Houston Sergeant’s Alleged Murderer Was Free On $100 Bail For Gun Charge

Houston, TX – A suspect who was out on bond for a gun charge has been arrested in connection with the murder of Houston Police Sergeant Sean Rios on Monday.

Sgt. Rios, 47, was fatally shot at approximately 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 9 as he was heading to work, CNN reported at the time.

After being shot multiple times during a gun battle with his attacker, Sgt. Rios stumbled into the lobby of a nearby motel, where he collapsed.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said someone in a black truck picked up the shooter and helped him flee the area before officers’ arrival.

A large-scale manhunt ensued.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said the accused gunman, 24-year-old Robert Soliz, was arrested on a murder warrant during a traffic stop on Interstate 10 in west Houston at approximately 3:15 p.m. on Tuesday, according to KSAT.

He was taken into custody using Sgt. Rios’ handcuffs, KTRK reported.

Soliz was initially uncooperative with detectives when they attempted to question him, Chief Acevedo told reporters.

Sgt. Rios was driving to work when he received a report that shots had been fired in the 7700-block of Interstate 45 North near West Canino Road and Stuebner Airline Road, KHOU reported.

Witnesses told the 911 operator that someone in a white pickup was exchanging gunfire with someone in a blue Mercedes, Chief Acevedo said on Tuesday.

The description of the Mercedes matches a vehicle that belongs to Soliz, the chief added.

“We believe there’s a high probability that Sgt. Rios saw that incident between those two vehicles and, sadly, ended up losing his life in trying to intervene,” he said, according to KSAT.

Police are still searching for a Hispanic male seen in security footage driving a black pickup truck with mismatched rims, KPRC reported.

The male, who has a mustache and beard, is wanted for questioning, Chief Acevedo said.

“We need this person to come forward,” the chief said, according to KTRK. “He’s of great interest to us, and we’ve got to find that individual.”

The chief noted that investigators believe Soliz was involved in multiple road-rage incidents involving firearms, KSAT reported.

“We are highly confident that he will be charged with assault with a pistol involving another member of the community that occurred about a month ago,” he noted, according to KPRC.

Soliz’s criminal history dates back to at least 2014, KTRK reported.

He has been arrested on multiple occasions in the past on charges ranging from criminal trespass and evading arrest to threatening to murder his girlfriend, among others.

Soliz was out on $100 bail for allegedly unlawfully carrying a weapon in a motor vehicle at the time of Sgt. Rios’ murder, KTRK reported.

That incident occurred on Feb. 15.

According to Mary Nan Huffman, who ran for Harris County District Attorney in the recent election, Soliz has been charged with other gun offenses in the past.

Sgt. Rios, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, served the Houston Police Department (HPD) for 25 years, KHOU reported.

He leaves behind his four children, ages 9, 12, 14, and 17.

Sgt. Rios is also survived by his parents, brother, and two cousins who are also HPD officers, according to CNN.

“Please pray for Rios’ family, for his extended HPD family and for this community,” Chief Acevedo asked.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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